How To Avoid Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke When Your AC Goes Down

homeowner suffering from heat stroke and heat exhaustion due to broken air conditioner

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified dehydration, heatstroke, and sunburn as common health risks during the summer season. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported that approximately 1,300 Americans die each year due to heat-related conditions. Avoid heat exhaustion and heatstroke by staying cool on hot summer days. Taking the necessary steps to prepare your HVAC system for summer is important.

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Ways To Avoid Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke When Your AC Goes Down

This article presents various techniques to stay cool in case your air conditioner stops functioning during the height of summer. It is worth noting, though, that scheduling a yearly air conditioner tune-up can prevent many air conditioner malfunctions.

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Why Would My AC Stop Working?

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As per the US Department of Energy, the recommended temperature for setting your AC thermostat in the summer is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. However, situations like summer storms may lead to a power outage, resulting in your AC remaining off if you don’t have a power backup. Your air conditioner may also malfunction due to various reasons, such as lack of maintenance, an old AC unit, overworking, or inappropriate cooling system size.

To prevent issues with your cooling system, make sure to schedule an annual air conditioner tune-up in the spring before the onset of hot weather. If your air conditioner stops working, you and your loved ones risk heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Fortunately, the following tips can help you avoid such adverse effects when your air conditioner malfunctions.

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Contact An HVAC Professional Immediately

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As soon as you detect that your air conditioner is not functioning correctly, your first action should be to contact a professional HVAC contractor. The expert will assess the AC unit and identify the problem causing the malfunction. Depending on the level of severity of the issue, the contractor may fix it within a few minutes or hours. If the problem is significant, you may have to wait several days as the contractor sources replacement parts, replaces faulty components, or even installs a new HVAC system.

While you wait for the HVAC contractor to resolve the problem, it is essential to stay cool and comfortable. Don’t forget to keep your pets comfortable, as they can also suffer from excessive heat.

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Stay Hydrated

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When your body experiences heat, it automatically responds by sweating to regulate its temperature. However, if the water lost through sweating is not replenished, it can lead to dehydration, as observed by researchers at the Pennsylvania State University. Dehydration is a prevalent issue during summer, so keep your body hydrated. The Harvard Medical School recommends drinking at least eight glasses of water daily. Maintaining proper hydration can reduce the risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion, which can occur when the body is exposed to high temperatures for an extended period.

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Take Cold Showers

A straightforward and efficient method to beat the summer heat is to take cold showers periodically throughout the day. Doing so can alleviate your body’s struggle to expel excess heat while simultaneously revitalizing yourself, which is particularly essential during scorching summer days.

Related Article: What’s The Difference Between A/C Condensers & Evaporator Coils?

Don’t Use Heat Generating Gadgets

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When trying to lower the temperature in your home, be cautious of appliances that produce heat during use. Examples of such devices include: 

  • Ovens
  • Computers
  • Washers
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Stoves
  • Toasters 
  • Dryers

While these appliances may be useful during the winter or on chilly days, they are unnecessary in the summer, especially if your air conditioner is not working. Refrain from using them for a while to prevent generating additional heat in your home.

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Stay Downstairs

Because of its proximity to the roof, the upstairs rooms typically become warmer than those on the lower level during the summer. The innate tendency of warm air to rise makes the lower rooms cooler than the upper ones. So, it is better to spend more time downstairs, particularly in the basement.

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Dress Appropriately

The National Public Radio has reported that shedding clothing during the summer will not aid in cooling down the body. Evaporation can lead to increased water loss as more skin is exposed. Regardless of the weight of the clothing, it is wise to wear natural fabrics such as cotton or linen. These materials absorb sweat, slowing down evaporation and preventing excessive water loss. Tight-fitting garments made of nylon or polyester should be avoided, as they can raise body temperature.

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Open Windows

Throughout the summer season, it is typical for temperatures to remain elevated during the day and night, but there is usually a substantial drop in outdoor temperatures at night. Use this temperature pattern to cool your home by effectively opening and closing windows. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) suggests opening windows at night when outdoor temperatures have lowered and closing them during the day. It is important to note that even one open window, particularly on the western side, can heat your entire house quickly on a scorching summer day.

Block The Sun

To prevent your house from getting too hot, simply closing a window that directly faces the sun’s rays will not suffice. Take additional measures, such as drawing curtains and blinds or covering the window with tin foil to block the sunlight.

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In case your air conditioner malfunctions during the summer season, reach out to a professional HVAC contractor. While waiting for the contractor, you can follow the guidelines outlined in this article to keep cool and prevent heat-related ailments. To avoid unforeseen breakdowns of your HVAC system, schedule routine air conditioner tune-ups. Make sure that your AC unit is appropriately sized to avoid overworking and subsequent breakdowns.

Related Article: Top 7 Things You Should Never Do To Your AC Unit

Call Lawes Company For Your Air Conditioning Requirements

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Lawes Company offers superior heating and cooling services in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, New Jersey. We hire the best-certified technicians who can provide you with excellent HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each of our techs has the knowledge and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.

Lawes Company guarantees the most competitive heating and cooling service costs in the area. Our maintenance services can improve your comfort and energy efficiency while reducing home cooling costs. If you need an HVAC repair or replacement system, we can recommend the best one for your home while staying within your budget. We back all of our work with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. To schedule a service appointment, give Lawes Company a call today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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